Quality circle

A quality circle is a group of employees who meet on a regular basis to identify, analyze and solve problems related to the work they do.

Quality circle

Above all, it seeks to improve the tasks that are carried out through quality control and improvement with the participation of all team members. This technique allows employees to become aware of the quality and productivity problems of the company.

Of course, the solutions to the problems are generated with the teamwork that occurs in the quality circle. In it, each employee contributes their knowledge and experiences, which are valuable in the search for solutions. Generating, in this way, an exchange of knowledge and reciprocal support within the group.

In effect, quality circles propose that quality and productivity problems occur because managers and employees are unaware of them. In addition, each employee has theoretical and practical knowledge that, if used and shared appropriately, helps to solve work-related problems. Promoting cooperation between management and workers.

Characteristics of the quality circle

It is important to mention that the quality circle is the result of combining the American statistical methods and the Japanese organization. After World War II, Japan was considered a country that produced poor quality products.

For this reason, Japan is asking for the help of the US government. The United States sends Edward Deming and Joseph Juran quality experts. With the help of these people, in 1949 Japan began improvements in its quality processes. Finally, in 1961, with the help of Dr. K. Ishikawa’s knowledge, these processes were formalized. Quality circles emerge between these processes.

The main characteristics of a quality circle are:

1. It is formed by a small group of employees

It should be noted that for a quality circle to successfully achieve its objectives it must be made up of an adequate number of members. The most favorable number of members is considered to be 8-10 employees. This number allows the interrelation between all the members to be easy to conduct.

2. The members of the circle must perform in the same work area or in a similar work.

On the other hand, the quality circle must be made up of employees who perform the same or similar work. So that each member understands all the topics covered and is able to contribute their knowledge.

Clearly, when participants know the area of ​​work being discussed, they clearly understand the issues being addressed. Providing identity and a feeling of belonging of the participants to the group. Because the problems discussed are common to all members of the circle.

3. Participation must be voluntary

It is important to mention that the participation of employees in the quality circles is voluntary. The company does not force or pressure workers to form a circle, so participation will depend on the decision of each member.

4. Meetings must be regular

Similarly, the meetings of the quality circles should be held periodically. In other words, weekly or fortnightly periods must be established to carry out the meetings.

Likewise, the duration of each meeting must be defined, so that the regularity of the meetings is respected.

5. Identify, analyze, and solve work-related problems

In any case, employees who are part of the quality circle can identify, analyze and solve problems. Because all members are involved in the same work area. This makes it easier for them to recognize obstacles that affect quality, productivity, and optimal job performance. This also favors finding the best proposals to correct and solve the problems encountered.

Characteristics of the Quality Circle
Quality circle

Steps to carry out the quality circle

The most important steps that are followed in the quality circle process are the following:

  • Identify the problem.
  • Analyze the problem and collect information.
  • Look for solutions.
  • Select a solution.
  • Present the solution to management.
  • Run the solution.
  • Evaluate the solution.
Quality Circle 2
Quality circle
Steps to do it

Benefits of applying the quality circle

Among the main benefits that can be obtained by applying quality circles, we have the following:

  • Supports quality improvement.
  • The problems found are resolved.
  • Permanent training through the exchange of knowledge among its members.
  • The work environment is improved as there is better communication and integration of employees.
  • Generates greater collaboration in the work process.
  • Greater motivation of workers to do their tasks better.
  • Better communication between employees and managers.

Finally, we can say that the formation of quality circles is very important in companies that seek to improve quality and productivity. All this is achieved through teamwork that allows the sharing of knowledge and experiences for the identification, analysis and resolution of work-related problems.